The Northern Virginia congressional election between Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock and her challenger LuAnn Bennett is one of the most contentious in the country, and the Democrats’ supporters aren’t above cheap tricks.
Bennett retweeted a photo from a supporter that showed five college students with a caption that made it appear as though they were campaigning for her; however, the photo was actually from 2014 and the students in it were College Republicans who were campaigning for Rep. Scott Rigell and Ed Gillespie.
The Virginia Republican Party Facebook account shared a screenshot of Bennett’s tweet and the original post from the College Republican Federation of Virginia in September of 2014.
— Virginia GOP (RPV) (@VA_GOP) November 7, 2016
The young woman on the far left of the photo is Lauren McCue, who strongly objected to this use of her photo.
“Hillary Clinton and LuAnn Bennett cannot find photos of real millennial supporters so they have resorted to using pictures of a group of conservative students from two years ago,” McCue told Red Alert Politics in an email. “I am not completely shocked by the fraudulent behavior of the campaigns, because we’ve seen this before. I am more amazed at the fact this is this is happening again in 2016, after Wendy Davis’ campaign made the same exact mistake using the same quote with the same picture two years ago. As a pro-life woman, Hillary Clinton and LuAnn Bennett do not represent me, and it is extremely appalling that my picture is being falsely associated with those disgraceful candidates.”
Comstock and Bennett are battling for Virginia’s competitive 10th District, which stretches from the D.C. suburbs to the Shenandoah Valley. Comstock has prided herself on her ability to work across the aisle with her Democratic colleagues, while Bennett has done everything she can to tie the congresswoman to Republican nominee Donald Trump, who is unpopular in Northern Virginia. The campaigns and political action committees have spent a combined total of $14 million on the race, according to Open Secrets.
“It’s sad and pathetic that Democrats would attempt to pass off this photo of hardworking Virginia College Republicans as their own supporters,” said Liz Minneman, the National Secretary of the College Republican National Committee. “Millennials know that the policies of Hillary Clinton and LuAnn Bennett have failed our generation. Clearly the Democratic Party is struggling for youth support this fall.”